Hatch panels getting stuck in loading station


At Hatboro-Horsham week 1 event the right side station on the Red side had some issues that I saw during practice Friday night. The hatches were getting pinched between the 2 pcs of lexan. I believe the field crew made an adjustment to it, and I don’t recall any issues on Saturday or Sunday.


This happened allot at the St. Joseph, IN district event.
Head Ref said the students could bang on the Plexi to try to dislodge offending Hatch.
And no, dropping another Hatch does not help. It really jams them up.


This is definitely one of the biggest problems with this years field. One thing to ensure is that your human player is placing the hatch into the hole and dropping it, not letting it down slowly, and not pushing it up against the hdpe spacers/side rails. This doesn’t solve the problem but almost every time I saw a stuck hatch panel it was from a HP slowly lowering and releasing the hatch or pressing it up against the side which generates some spin.


This issue is common in 2019. When we were competing at Tech Valley Regional this past weekend, we were instructed by the Field Supervisor and the Head Ref to GENTLY bang on the glass where the hatch panel is stuck to try to remove it.


At Week 2 NE Waterbury, there were two feeder stations in specific which had this problem. We had our human player try to stretch the slot where the hatch panel is put in, allowing more wiggle room for the hatch panel to slide down at the bottom. Also giving it a little push or kick to help it slide down helps.


I saw one poor kid banging on the loading station and it wouldn’t come loose.
He reached around the wall to bang on it from the inside and got a yellow card for being inside the playing area.


If you were watching in another match you would’ve seen the FTA telling him it was ok and another where the FTA was doing the “percussive maintenance.”


After this match i noticed that at some point the bristles that hold the hatches in had managed to slide up about 2 inches, making hatches fall out easier at the bottom and made our “up-and-out” strategy ineffective.


At the Waterbury district event the FTAs recommended pressing into the circle that you place the hatches in if one is stuck. This seemed to dislodge them better than simply banging around them since you were actually splitting the two pieces of lexan and making room for the hatch to roll.

Additionally, I saw some field staff recommending using force down to ensure it wouldn’t get stuck in the first place. Not a fan of that solution too much, but it was out there too.


This continues to be a problem at multiple events. It’s time someone cuts a diagonal slot in the back plexi so we can use a pusher stick to fix it.


Return of the pokey pokey stick!


Yes, but WHICH pokey pokey stick? 2006? 2010? 2012? 2013? You’d think they’d just standardize and send one with every field in perpetuity.


My favorite is the pokey pokey guy who descores your game pieces, first made famous in 2006 and 2012. Maybe we can get him behind the rocket this year.


Pokey stick in a ball game that’s used for the non-ball game object? :exploding_head:


I noticed several teams (including 3937) give the HP some english inside the hole as they released it to encourage it to bounce the right direction.


Saw someone penalized at Del Mar for banging on the glass attempting to free a stuck panel. Think it was in a practice match. This was before the update.


As Field Super in Waterbury I witnessed this problem. The station already had the alteration prescribed by FIRST, but the 2 issues I saw was 1. the tape occasionally got peeled backwards, causing it to stick in the slot, 2. the inner lexan against the frame became warped outwards leaving less room for the hatch to drop down through. We had the human player raise the hatch higher up in the delivery slot to gain more momentum & also what was said by team 230 mentor.


We were using the Waterbury field this weekend at North Shore and the exact same thing as you described happened to my team during a qual match. Sadly they had to deal with it being stuck the entirety of the match.


We had this happen a few times at Southern NH. Can really hinder an alliance that relies on loading station if it happens at a bad time.


I myself am a human player for my team. During the Finger Lakes Regional Semifinals Match 3, a hatch became lodged in the chute. To make matters worse, my robot proceeded to hit the hatch further back into the chute. I had a decision to make. I gave the HP station a couple of good kicks, but the hatch did not budge. I tried to shove a second hatch down into the chute in order to dislodge the first hatch. I would not recommend this strategy as the second hatch slotted down right next the the first one without causing any movement. I then proceeded to kick the HP station as hard as I could. A volunteer came beside me, screaming at me and telling me to stop just as I dislodged both hatches. I was threatened with a yellow card. Thankfully I did not receive one, but it was close.

The most important thing to note from this is that I would not recommend kicking the loading station without consulting your head referee. My actions almost got my team a yellow card, which would eliminate us from the competition. I was told that I had to “figure something else out”. If someone on this forum suggests a better option I would use that first.